Kirk Montoute LLP
Schedule A Confidential Consultation:
587-331-7845 | 877-563-5295
Request more information by email
Close This Form

Complete and submit the quick form to receive more information about our legal services or to request a confidential consultation with one of our legal professionals.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish a lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


The untimely death of musical artist, Prince, provides a cautionary tale of the unintended consequences of dying without a will, or "intestate". In most jurisdictions, legislation dealing with intestacy sets out a statutory regime for the appointment of the Estate's Administrator, and to whom the Estate will be distributed.

In Alberta, priority to apply for the right to administer an intestate estate is as follows: 

1. Spouse;

2. Child;

3. Grandchild;

4. Descendant other than child or grandchild;

5. Parents;

6. Brother or sister;

7. Child of brother or sister;

8. Next of kin up to 5 degrees of relationship;

9. A claimant against estate;

10. A person who has an interest in the estate due to their relationship with the deceased;

11. The Crown in right of Alberta. 

Entitlement to inherit an intestate estate in order of priority is as follows;

1. Spouse solely, if no children;

2. Spouse and children, if children;

3. Children only if no spouse;

4. Descendants of children;

5. Parents;

6. Descendants of Parents

7. Grandparents;

8. Descendants of Grandparents;

9. Great-grandparents;

10. Descendants of Great-grandparents, up to 5 degrees of relationship from the deceased;

11. The Crown in right of Alberta.

In some instances, this "one size fits all" approach is similar to what a deceased person may have intended, but there are just as many and perhaps more instances where a person whom the deceased would have excluded is included by the default set out in legislation, e.g., a spend-thrift child, a drug-addicted relative or (God forbid) the Provincial Government.

In the case of Prince's Estate, a further unintended consequence may arise that would result in Prince spinning in his grave. During his life, Prince was notorious for maintaining strict control over his catalog, including what is believed to be hundreds of hours of unreleased recordings. He had an on again/off again relationship with iTunes and was anti-Spotify. Had he written a will and placed his music into a testamentary trust, Prince could have controlled the use of his music for decades after his death. As it is, the Administrator of Prince's Estate is under an obligation to maximize the value of the Estate for its beneficiaries. This will likely result, as with the Estates of Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson and other deceased artists, in a stream of posthumous releases and licencing of his music that Prince resisted during his life. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Like/Follow Us On These Social Media Apps:

Go Back To The Top Of This Page